It’s often said that editing is cutting out all the bad bits. That is partially correct, but a very simplified analysis of the craft. Somebody did a calculation that counted the amount of ‘cuts’ or change of shots in an average feature length film, then divided it by the amount of days the editor worked. The figure was eight cuts per day. So it is obvious that there is a lot more to editing than simply making cuts.
Most of your time editing is taken by getting to know the material, experimenting with versions of edits, thinking and talking.
“If direction is a look, editing is a heartbeat” - Jean Luc Godard
Editing is like writing with image and sound. Just like writing a script, you make draft after draft, refining your work until you think it is ready for viewing. The editors job is to interpret the script or idea for the film. But you have to work with what you have in the footage, which may often mean changing the initial ideas. This is where the editors ability really comes into play.
The editor has four main elements to work with:
If this excites you, read on.